August 30, 2010

yesterday, i enjoyed making individual portions of summer vegetable casseroles. what a great way to use your fresh herbs and vegetables. i subsituted regular bread crumbs for homemade gluten-free bread crumbs......

celiac disease.
let me share, what's been going on here.
for the past couple of years...
my husband brad, has not been feeling 100% well....
we chalked it up to age.
we chalked it up to, too many beans.
too many blueberries.
not enough water.
this and that and the other.
in july, he suffered four out of four solid weeks
of severe and odd health issues.
- extreme and uncomfortable digestive issues
(starting with his teeth) right through the large intestine
-always feeling full
-dry eyes
-extreme thirst
- extreme irritability
-pallor to the point of grey
-continuous joint pain in his wrists
-middle toe pain: swelling, inflammation and the top of his foot was red and hot to the touch. he had a difficult time walking.
i called his doctor. couldn't get an immediate appointment.
so, i asked for any doctor with an appointment available immediately.
within hours he was in a doctors examination room.
this doctor, suggested he get tested for celiac disease.
blood work.
me on google.
all symptoms match perfectly.
i instantly took out all gluten from his diet.
with a trip to local grocery stores,
and not knowing a thing about gluten...
i came back with food made without wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
not an easy scavenger hunt.
however, if you saw his pain, you'd understand, my efforts.
within 36 hours... i saw improvements.
his digestive problems improved very slightly. and his color was back.
while we waited for the blood work, which sadly came back inconclusive, i did more research on celiac. and, faithfully and without missing a beat, kept him on a gluten-free diet.
improvements have been seen daily.
according to a new m.d. we saw on saturday.. who practices at a larger, more contemporary hospital, assured us that only 40% of celiac patients test positive for the disease. while all symptoms have subsided-- except for his foot pain- which should clear up completely, within 90-120 days... my own research, validated a small intestine biopsy or removal of all gluten is the only fool-proof way of knowing if the disease is present. brad did mention that, "he didn't realize how sick he's been-- now that he's feeling so much better." since going gluten-free, he's lost 9 lbs. because of removing the processed foods from his diet and eating products made with brown rice flour, etc. (he now weighs 155). tommie and i are not 100% gluten free.. yet. we're slowly making the transition... using up the wheat products i have on our shelves. you, know... i'm from the "can't waste," mentality.
we look to this past july and all of the hand-wringing moments as a blessing from God. we look forward to fine-tuning all of our diets and sweeping the processed foods completely out of our lives. with celiac must stay gluten-free forever.
lastly, i am really enjoying the hunt for new recipes and beyond thrilled to see brad's improvements.
in the near future, i will have links to gluten-free blogs... just in case you know of someone who needs help.

August 26, 2010

come along with me... to one of the farmer's markets i set up at, this week....
i'll show you lots of very cool, indian summer junk, that i'm selling or sold.
first though, check out the beans i hung around the canvas of my tent...
big, long purple beans.... they were a funky hit!

this morning, in my pajama's and wellington's...
i slopped out to my gardens to pick bouquets to take to the market.
each arrangement had basil, rosemary or celery stuck in them.
the customers were pleased to have a little herbal bonus in their bouquets!

i threw together and tied big, bunches of sweet annie.. and instructions on how to make a wreath. i thought it was a great idea. but nobody eles did. not the best seller. sure won't be putting that kind of effort into selling sweet annie, again.

funky junk yarn, was appreciated.
it really is beautiful in real life!
$3. each or 2 for $5.
good deal!

can you see my banner? its a mermaid.
i had it made last week.
saved money by painting it myself.
gotta watch those pennies, ya know.

did you get a free eggplant?
you get one free with any purchase at my little booth!
smile, wink, nod

August 24, 2010

let's catch up.....
canning beets.
i've never done it, before today.
hot diggity dog... is it ever easy!
and the smell of the brine....
cinnamon sticks, vinegar and allspice simmering away...
well, let's just say the little house smelled ultra-cozy!
i also wrapped up a very sweet novel, water for elephants.
unlike anything i've ever read.
now, my nose is buried in the historical fiction, "the dress lodger," by sheri holman. there's just something about historical england, i'm drawn to.
oh, and get this... in church sunday, one of our praise and worship songs was, "how sweet it is to be loved by you." the band played just like they were members of james taylor's band... and the congregation sang, loved it and wore smiles!
we started our back to homeschool lessons, yesterday. click here, if you'd like to read about it.
my little family of three, has been introduced to the gluten-free lifestyle. it's not by choice. it's for health reasons. more on that, in tomorrow's post.

smile, wink, nod.

August 22, 2010

sometimes, i think i'm part squirrel.
i love stashing away necessities for winter.
yesterday morning, i scampered out, to capitalize on the deals!
i shuffled through krogers and
loaded my cart with 20 bottles of purex laundry soap. $2. each.
my next stop was meijers. cottonelle toilet paper....
6-pack's for $1.50 each, w/ coupon. plus, i stocked up on kleenex (big boxes) for $1. each.. i didn't realize they were so cheap, until i waltzed through the back to school section. where, i also loaded up on glue stix and elmer's glue (works swell for mod-podge projects, new sharp scissors and bic pencils...
today, after church, this little squirrel will be canning homemade bean soup. my beans have soaked over night, the pressure canner is waiting, and i'm looking forward to my second cup of coffee.
how about you?
do you stockpile?
what are your favorite things to stash away?
smile, wink, nod.

August 20, 2010

miss dilly and her patten leather purse!

meet miss dilly.
my scarecrow. standing guard... in the garden.
shooing away unwanted guests....
with her white, patten leather purse from the 1950's.
her dress? a strapless prom or bridesmaid dress.
found at a thrift shop for $2.

this year, i planted magenta colored hollyhocks from seed.
they're spectacular. and deserve their own row, in my vegetable garden next year!

love them.
they're so old-fashioned.
i especially like how they bloom until frost!
lot's of bang for your buck!

happy friday night!
see you tomorrow.
smile, wink, nod.

August 19, 2010

to market, to market....

me. as the little piggy.
this little piggy went to market:
2 farmer's markets this week..., 1 to go.
10 hours each day.
this little piggy stayed home:
well, only to sleep and a couple hours each
morning... just enough to throw dinner
for my boys in the crock pot, laundry,
and freeze up some peaches, cauliflower
and green beans.
this little piggy had roast beef:
ugh, not really.
more like tim horton's blt on the way
and kettle corn from the markets.
this little piggy had none:
not true. there's always something to eat at the farmer's market.
our production managers make sure of that! they even order pizza for us!
usually bbq chicken pizza.
this little piggy went we, we, we, weeeeeeee all the way home!
but, man-oh-man, did this piggy have a good time.

August 15, 2010

i spotted this sign, this past week at the country fair.
i had to do a double-take.
then, jokingly i said to the elderly lady working the booth....
"is this for real?"
in her best persnickety voice, with a big emphasis on sarcasm she replied...
"we sell a lot of them! want to try one?"
ummm, no.
nope. i think i'll pass.
what about you?
would you try this?
the mix of meat and cheese on a glazed doughnut... i just can't phantom.
smile, wink, nod.

August 13, 2010

9 pints of pizza sauce.
i cheated.
i used a packaged mix by mrs. wage's.
it was very easy to make. directions simple.
best price for the mix? wallyworld: $2.50.

yesterday, i had a booth at the farmer's market. i sure
do enjoy the customers and other vendors.
the excitement of
seeing a novice, heartwarming.
one local farmer, a lady a bit younger then me, took an order for 70 organic chickens. later, an order for 65. she was on cloud nine. rightfully so.
since the cottage law was passed, another young vendor... a mom who brings her baby in a playpen, and supplements her income by selling her canning, is breaking through at lightening speeds. she sold oodles of apple cider pancake syrup and peach jam.
it is a tremendous feeling, to watch these strong women... finding creative, lucrative venues, in these really, tough economic times, here in michigan.
i raise my glass to them. all of them.
smile, wink, nod.
oh, and i traded a couple of items, with other vendors... i came home with the famous peach jam and a quart of boysenberries!

August 09, 2010

one of my very favorite things about participating in the country 4H fair, is getting to know hip chicks like this beauty! maybe it's just me, but doesn't this profile look like an ancient indian in a headdress?

my baby boy, showed his florida rabbit. he placed 3rd in his age group. not bad. one of the questions was, how many eyelids does a rabbit have? answer: three. upper, lower and inner. inner protects them from dust! what a great idea God had! my babe, also took 2nd place in best of breed. did you know rabbits have two uterus's? and their vision is 360 degrees? spooky.

i know this isn't the golden ticket... but, i was easily entertained and pleasantly surprised, when this 1970's coupon fell from an old cookbook i purchased over the weekend! heinz vinegar. save five cents. this find is a keeper.
though, i don't know what to do with it.
smile, wink, nod.

August 08, 2010

seven on sunday!
1. love my retro yellow apron. and dirty feet.
2. set up and helped decorate the rabbit and poultry barn, for the 4H fair.
2.5. i entered a few things in the 4H show: a rug hooked rug, a bouquet of basil, a bouquet of fennel, and a penny rug- pin cushion. hope to win a blue ribbon!
3. canned pizza sauce. 9 pints. pop! pop! pop! (lids).
4. picked tomato's and an abundance of green beans. barefooted in my garden. tasha-style.
5. bought bartlett pears from a roadside stand. the sign said, "not sprayed." wouldn't that mean organic? 7 dozen for $7. will can them in light syrup.
6. garage sales yesterday! .25 cent new, bamboo flip-flops. a handful of backwoods non-fictions, 1957 children's cook book, with really cheesy pics and captions... it'll make for a fun blog post (future.)
7. ran into my cousin robin. talked and talked and talked. and, wished we could have talked more.

now, it's off to the land of nod.
4H rabbit show tomorrow, all day.
with tommie and the other members.
there is nothing i love better then the atmosphere
of the livestock and poultry at a country fair.
the chickens and turkey's talking.
the sheep baaaah-ing.
the barn full of swine.
and the smell of cattle and hay.
it reminds me of my childhood, spent at my grandparents farm.
a splendid memory.

August 07, 2010

i love broccoli worms! yes, i really do!

call me plum crazy.
but, each august, when i harvest our homegrown broccoli, i look forward to finding broccoli worms! there are just so many "a-ha gotcha moments!"

finding them is easy.
but then again, isn't every thing easy when you enjoy it?!
just cut the broccoli heads (we like the flower part), soak them in cold water w/ salt, for a half hour.... rinse, drain and then blanch for 3 minutes. the worms will float to the top of the pot. for extra fun, you can stir the broccoli around, in search of more... just take a spoon and dip them out!
hence, the snap above. in this case, there are two worms.
for some reason, this year, there were tons of worms in my pot!
got them all, though.
after blanching, i drain and rinse and cool the crop on a big terry cloth bath towel ... all the while...keeping an eagle eye out for more of those little cuties!
i was able to pack and freeze ten bags of veggies.
the cauliflower was given to me at the farmer's market.
one of the best things about being a vendor at the market is, the free produce that comes your way, at closing time. i also came home with a giant cantaloupe, too. bigger then my head. also, a free bottle of traverse city cherry bar-be-que sauce and homemade peach jam and 14 peaches.
now, it's off to check craigslist to see if there are any close-by garage sales!
finger's crossed!
happy saturday!

August 04, 2010

well, if this doesn't sound like more fun then a barrel of monkey's!
i'll be following this very interesting blog with green-bean envy!
i think you'll like it, too~
click here and read about the adventures, treasures and giggles!
i'm thinking i need to add this link to my sidebar!
smile, wink, nod~

August 02, 2010

here's me.
all in character at the murder mystery party.
i was candice, the showgirl. who was suppose to be disillusioned
and thinking i/she was going to be rich and famous.
"just ad lib" was what was suggested to me, by both writers.
and i did. ad lib, that is. it was much easier that way.
more natural.
i had an hour to go over my script and get into the role.
i enjoyed talking about mary pickford, the south of france, hollywood and
how much my feet hurt from dancing.
in the end... i was the the murderess.
it was totally volunteer. and so very much fun.
i was able to say things
to people, that i normally wouldn't say.
i was shifty. insulting. arrogant. and deceiving.
my outfit was one that i put together at home.... thanks to my mom, who has
so many very cool clothes!
i sat among 17 strangers and had a three course meal. my job was to keep the guests on topic. keep them pumped. and interested. which wasn't too hard, since it was a very fun group.
i'll be doing this again in the fall. or sooner, depending on the next party. in fact, the atmosphere was so electric, that i even offered to be a waitress at the party.
smile, wink, nod~

blogging. i've been away for a few days. and boy, have i ever missed it!
outside of computer technology difficulties, i've had a whirlwind few days!
which found me....
blueberry picking with my aunts, mom and cousin, followed by a girls sleepover at my mom's (it's a summer tradition), processing broccoli -froze 10 bags for winter and made freezable broccoli soup, working at our church and still really enjoying it, farmer's market- long hours, lots of people and very hot and humid, playing the part of a showgirl in a murder mystery program at a local mansion.. which was more fun then i had imagined... pictures forthcoming. picking green beans, making peanut butter cookies, and a trip to the theatre to see "dinner with the shmuck's"... pretty wild-- i don't recommend it. now it's off to catch up on laundry.
i'll be back super soon!